Most ODI Wickets for India

image-lh4lqnljAnil Kumble tops the charts with 334 wickets. (Source: Getty Images)

Indian cricket history has witnessed many bowlers who posed a threat to the opposition with their skill and guile. Whether it be the pacers or the slow bowlers, each has played a role in the rise of the sport’s popularity. Some bowlers became match winners, the go-to player for captains whenever the team needed wickets. We look at those top-10 wicket takers for India in ODIs.

Here are the top 10 Indian wicket takers 

1. Anil Kumble (334)

image-lpkvcsefAnil Kumble [Twitter]

Anil Kumble tops the wicket-taker list for India in both Tests and ODIs. The tall leg-spinner bamboozled batters with his speed variations. He was unafraid to flight the ball and deceived his opponents with his flippers and googlies. His best showing of 6/12 came against the West Indies in 1993. Kumble ran through the middle and lower order, bundling out the West Indies for 123 in their quest for 226.

2. Javagal Srinath (315)

image-lh4lwp2jJavagal Srinath is arguably the fastest Indian bowler. (Source: Twitter)

Javagal Srinath is among the fastest bowlers India has ever produced, who revolutionised pace bowling during the 1990s. With a calm head on his shoulders, Srinath excelled at his skill, bowling inswingers to uproot the stumps on many occasions. His 315 ODI wickets featured 3 fifers and 7 four-wicket hauls.

3. Ajit Agarakar (288)

When Ajit Agarkar stepped into international cricket, he became the fastest to reach the landmark of 50 ODI wickets (23 matches). Agarkar was not a sitting duck with the bat and had the highest score of 95 in this format. His best figures of 6/42 came against Australia, but unfortunately, it did not come in a winning cause.

4. Zaheer Khan (269)

image-lh4lydmpZaheer Khan has the most World Cup wickets for India (44) (Source: Getty Images)

If not for injuries, Zaheer Khan could have become the best pace bowler from India. Despite those setbacks, the left-arm seamer occupies the fourth position on this list. Zaheer could make the ball talk, both new and old balls. His expertise in reverse swing provided the team breakthrough at the death. India’s successful campaign at the 2011 World Cup could not have been possible without his presence. With 21 wickets, he was the joint highest-wicket taker in the tournament.

5. Harbhajan Singh (265)

Finger spinners have found it hard to claim wickets in limited overs, but not Harbhajan Singh. The ‘Turbanator’ slipped in his ‘doosras’ between his off-breaks and surprised the batters. His economy rate of 4.31 depicts his ability to tie down the batters and stem the run flow.

6. Kapil Dev (253) wickets

image-lh4mldhnKapil Dev was the second Indian bowler to claim a hattrick in ODI cricket. (Source: Wisden)

Arguably the best allrounder from India, Kapil Dev ended his ODI career with 253 wickets. In the 1983 World Cup, he achieved his career-best figures of 5/43 versus Australia. Although this feat came in a losing cause, India went on to win the World Cup, exceeding all expectations. Kapil Dev led the team to one of the most famous victories in Indian cricketing history with his bowling and aggressive batting.

7.  Venkatesh Prasad (196)

Venkatesh Prasad and Srinath were a potent pace bowling pair who started the proceedings on many occasions. Prasad could move the ball both ways and was a force to deal with overseas. He reserved his best performance for arch-rivals Pakistan when his 5/27 in the 1999 World Cup sealed a 47-run win for the Men In Blue.

8.  Ravindra Jadeja (220)

image-lh4m5y73Ravindra Jadeja played an instrumental role in India's 2013 Champions Trophy campaign. (Source: BCCI)

Ravindra Jadeja breezes through his overs while picking wickets with his accurate and pin-point bowling. His arm ball has led to the downfall of many batters more than his turners. In the 2013 Champions Trophy, Jadeja stood at the top of the wicket-takers list with 12 scalps, with two coming in the final. In a rain-curtailed ultimate showdown, Jadeja prized out Ian Bell and Jos Buttler as England fell short by five runs.

In 2023, the all rounder took 31 wickets in 26 matches with the strike rate of 36.74.

9.  Irfan Pathan (173)

image-llnnom88Irfan Pathan has claimed 173 wickets in 120 matches. (Twitter)

Irfan Pathan is another all-rounder who could have had a promising career if not for injuries. Pathan claimed 173 wickets in ODIs in 120 matches while returning with a fifer on two occasions.

10.  Mohammad Shami (195) 

image-lh4m3nucMohammad Shami is the second Indian player to claim a World Cup hattrick. (Source: ESPN Cricinfo)

Mohammad Shami has been the backbone of Indian pace bowling in the last decade. Shami has the pace and the accuracy to become successful in limited-overs cricket. His maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs came against England in 2019 at the World Cup, but his achievement got overshadowed by India’s defeat. Although India bowed out of the semi-finals in the last two World Cups, Shami had a successful campaign individually. He has 55 wickets in 12 World Cup matches and had won Man of Match Awards 4 times in 2023 World Cup.